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Political Warfare

The Speakership ShowdownInternationalIndiaAfricaFighting rages on in Gaza, as well as Washington.The attack came by surprise: quick, sudden, deadly. The assailant moved with stealth, sizing up his victim, waiting for just the right moment. By the time the plot was discovered, it was far too late. Such was the political decapitation last week of the House Republican leadership by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz.After the recent launch of impeachment hearings against President Joe Biden, House Freedom Caucus members set their sights within their own Republican Party. Now, former Speaker Kevin McCarthy is licking his wounds, and Republicans are struggling to choose a new leader, with renewed commitment to their political base.No one seems to know for sure what the consequences will be. Establishment figures denounced the move and the disruption that ensued. But with Congress’ approval rating standing at around 19%, does Gaetz have anything to lose by attacking political institutions?Sputnik ExplainsWho is Steve Scalise, Lawmaker Nominated by GOP to Serve as Next House Speaker?Yesterday, 23:40 GMTOn some issues, it appears there is more lively debate within the Republican Party than among Democrats, at least if discourse around funding for Ukraine is any indication. Events may play to Republicans’ favor if the party is seen as more dynamic, more anti-establishment, less reverent of sacred cows.One such shibboleth was on display this week as politicians from both parties rushed to express America’s undying support for Israel in the shadow of Hamas’ attack. So far, the question is not over whether to send aid to the Middle Eastern ally, but how much. House members suggested they may even send it before resolving the leadership question.As the old saying goes, “politics stops at the water’s edge,” and America’s foreign policy habits die hard. While the fight for the speakership rages on, bipartisan support for Israel remains sacrosanct.

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